Monday, April 21, 2014

Diving into the Divine

Dear Beloved Ones,

Today was a crazy week! We've been way successful lately at meeting
people on the street and setting up other appointments with them, but
then when it came to coming to appointments we have spent a lot of
time waiting, and waiting and waiting for people to come and not
showing up or answering phones :(. That"s pretty normal, it's usually
like 1 out of 4 or 5 that come to an appointment we set up. But this
week on Tuesday we met this guy named Zaima, we had just had training
from the APs about talking to everyone so on the way to our apartment
from the train station so we talked to everyone we saw and found him
at the end, and set up an appointment to meet him on Wednesday. Then
that night we texted him and asked if he was coming, he texted back
excitedly "Yes! I'm excited!"

Now if that didn't rock our socks off. Well we go to our appointment
on wednesday 10 minutes earlier and he is already there with this big
smile. "When did you get here?" we asked "About 30 minutes ago" he
answered. Yep that's Zaima.

It turns out his mother was a christian, but she passed away some time
ago, so he believes in Christ because of her, but he doesn't really
know that much about Christ. Also he loves english and he doesn't have
a job right now, which means we can meet him a whole ton. He doesn't
talk a whole lot, but he does everything we ask and I don't even
understand why he already believes so much, we'll have to go deeper
later. But he has progressed the fastest of any investigator I've
taught on my mission.

We met him on Tuesday, taught him wednesday, he came to eikaiwa
(english class) that night. Then we taught him on Friday, set up a
baptismal date for May 11 and then that night he came to a branch
party, then read the book of mormon with him before eikaiwa and then
he came to church on sunday....20 minutes early in a way nice looking
suit. And we're teaching him tonight. (It hasn't even been a week
yet.) He is a crazy miracle.

He loves english because he loves american music, rock music,
backstreet boys etc (he actually sang some backstreet boys for me, it
was hilarious) and he is a way super pro diver. He has 7 different
diving licenses including one for deep diving, little does he know,
that right now he is diving into the deepest most fulfilling thing
into the world, the gospel of Jesus Christ. And oh how sweet he will
discover it to be.

Then also we had another crazy lesson with Rueben (see last week) He
has been way busy with school, but we were finally able to meet him on
Saturday. We had been thinking about how Elder Holland says we have to
go where the investigator needs to go before we can take them where we
want to go. So we just watched some powerful mormon messages
especially for him in his stressful difficult moment in life.
(mountians to climb, and good things to come) and then we watched a 2
min clip of President Eyring in last general conference testifying
that this is God's true Church, and we testified that we really do
have apostles today and they lead and guide God's church. He told us
that he was especially touched by President Eyring's testimony that
this is God's church. The spirit was so strong in the lesson. It was

It's been a while since we have been able to meet the Moritas, but
Brother Tohma has had some contact with them, and says they are still
interested just so busy. They need this gospel so much! Please pray
that they can have time and desire to meet!

And finally the crazy miracle we had on the street on wednesday! We
were out just talking to a 23 year old guy on the street who didn't
seem super interested when this woman suddenly comes up to us out of
nowhere and says, "Hey you're mormon right!?"
"Yeah we are, wait are you a member?"
"Yeah I am! I was baptized in Malaysia and then came here 3 weeks ago
and didn't know where the church was, I have been praying to meet
someone who could help me!"

Turns out she was a member who had been baptized 5 months ago, who
speaks english and guess what other language? None other than chinese!
What half our area's members speak. Of course. God doesn't send
member's here by chance. She is an awesome member, and has two little
kids so now we will have a 3 kid primary! Our one girl Megumi is so
happy to have friends. We also got one new college student member, and
a recently baptized 14 year old girl who all moved into our area.
Saijo is growing so much! But it's really not us, it's the lord!

I'm so grateful to be our here seeing all these miracles it's amazing!
It's crazy when I go out on the street and just speak Japanese to
people like nothing (now whether I understand everything is a
different story) and even crazier when I teach some guy equally in
Japanese, English, and Chinese on the street like yesterday.

Even more amazing though is how I'm changing and becoming more like
Christ, and growing to love and focus on others around me more and
more, this is the greatest gift of serving a mission.

I love you all and thank you for everything!

Elder Walton

-Us at a group activity playing tons of games (there were so many children!)

-The awesome Zaima!

-Me eating a bacon bagel, it's deliciousness is undescribable.

-Me and Elder Rees at the peace park!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Miracles Unending

Dear Everyone!

Today my time is short, but there are so many miracles I need to share
from this week!

On Monday we went hiking to see the flower blossoms. We were hiking up
and saw no one on the whole path, then we get to the top and it was
gorgeous. Up on the top Elder Rees is taking a video and says, "Hey
look a fellow hiker man...wait a minute!" He runs down a bank and

"What the? Where did he go?" I wondered. Turns out the person he saw
was Riyu! A way strong investigator of the other elders who was way
close to baptism and then decided to stop taking the lessons. We had
been praying for one more chance to talk to him. And then somehow we
all end up on some mountain in the middle of nowhere! It was a crazy
miracle and we were able to help him and hopefully he will be okay.

Also we had a lesson with Rueben. He is from Sierra Leone and was an
investigator I taught once my first transfer, but he has been gone for
6 months. He is a way strong christian, but has been way busy with
school and super stressed. We by miracle ran into him the night we
went bowling with 3 iranians and got an appointment, then we met and
really helped apply the atonement from the book of mormon and how it
helps him in his burdened life. Then we asked him what he believed
about the book of mormon and Joseph smith. He told us he believes the
Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith is a prophet, and this church is
true, though he's not ready to commit to be baptized. It was crazy!

Then later in the week we found a new investigator who is named
Fukuoka (yes like my mission name) who is about 20 and went to a
sunday school when he was younger and gave us his address phone number
and said we could come over wednesday morning to teach him. He seems
like he has way good potential!

We went down to Takasu for general conference and it was amazing! All
my questions were answered in powerful ways. With each session they
finished and I looked down at my watch dumbstruck at how the time had
already flown and it was already over. I couldn't believe it!

On Sunday Sho came down too and he is so so awesome! He loved General
Conference and really learned so much. Afterwards he came with us back
to Saijo on the train and went with us to visit a less active who
loves the missionaries, but just really needs some love from the ward
members and he was perfect. This little 3 month recent convert stood
there and told him how everyone is loved and welcome at church and he
should come. If I get rejected by every single person for the rest of
my two years as a missionary it will have been worth it just for him,
he is amazing.

And finally this miracle involves our entire zone basically. The
Sisters in Hatsukaichi (Nagamine shimai in the picture to the right of
me) had this feeling this week they should do weekly planning at the
church. So they go down there, and suddenly the church phone rings.
(I've never seen it do that) And they answer it. Turns out it is this
less active member from America who really wants to turn her life
around and wanted to meet that night! They met her and set up an
appointment for her to meet the Hiroshima (where she was going)
sisters the next day and wrote it down.

But then the note wasn't clear and she wasn't sure where it was. But
guess who ran into her in Hiroshima at the atomic bomb memorial. Yep.
The Saijo missionaries. We just happened to run into her. She walks up
to us and says, "I'm from america I want to go to church." That took
us by surprise. We realized she was the miracle woman (we had heard
the story from the hatsukaichi sisters) so we got her on the phone
with the hiroshima sisters and got her so she knew where the church
was. God really loves her because he is using basically an entire zone
of missionaries to help her.

There are miracles everyday and I'm so grateful to be out here. I love
being a missionary!

Love you all!
Elder Walton

Pictures: Us at General Conference.
Displaying IMG_2550.JPG
Displaying IMG_2551.JPG
Us visiting a less active with Sho, he is beyond cool.
Displaying IMG_2552.JPG
Crazy miracle of meeting Riyu on the mountain.
Displaying IMG_2498.JPG
Displaying IMG_2498.JPG

Displaying IMG_2448.JPG

Dendo like the Ancients.

I probably need to preface this a little bit. The word dendo is an
awesome word! It means basically to do missionary work in general. And
there is an awesome talk by Elder Holland that talks about teaching
and testifying by the spirit and getting back to doing it like "the
ancients did it" so me and Elder Rees made a list of all the ways we
want to dendo like the ancients, being bold and loving, having faith
talking to everyone etc...And we have a bunch of inspiring scriptures
that we read a few everyday. It's awesome!

We had a rough last week, all our lessons dropped and no new
investigators, but this week there were tons of miracles!

We still had no lessons or new investigators. But we actually did find
6 people who were willing to set up appointments and we got some
contact info....its just none of them came to the appointments. =\

The biggest miracle though was with the chinese people! On Tuesday we
had a crazy day of all finding. Which can normally be kind of rough.
Especially if you just go out for like 8 hours just straight streeting
or housing. But me and Elder Rees planned well and kept it fresh with
exciting and meaningful activities every hour. And every few hours we
did what we call a "mid day devotional" where for just 5 to 10 minutes
we found a nice spot, and just read together in the Book of Mormon
about some awesome missionary or some awesome story, and then prayed
with faith going forward. It was awesome because all though we may
have gotten a little bit tired or tiny bit discouraged, after we had
our mid day devotional we were filled with faith and reared and ready
to go! We felt like we really were like Ammon, or Peter, or Paul. The
same as those awesome ancients out preaching the gospel of Christ, the
greatest message ever known. It felt so good.

The night of that crazy day we were going out housing and we stopped
this one man who turned out to be chinese. I used a little of the
chinese I knew (but since he was fluent in english we continued in
that) and after we taught a little, he said to us, "So...what do I
need to do to get involved? Is there like a place I need to go? Do I
need to set up an appointment? What do I need to do to learn more?"
That my friend, is a great question. He was going out of town the next
week, but we got his number so we have great hopes for him!

Then that night we get to these three massive apartment buildings. And
we're wondering where to start when Elder Rees turns to me and says,
"Do you hear that? That's chinese" So of course we went straight to
that room. Turns out that all three buildings were about half chinese
people! And unlike the college students not very many of them spoke
any Japanese or English. So I was there testifying to old Chinese
grandpas, grandmas and families in my limited Chinese. And then
getting spoken to in Chinese having no idea what they are saying. It
was awesome!

We left with a few good potentials (impressed by white guys speaking
chinese in Japan) and sent the sisters (with the missionary from
taiwan) back there. And already have found a bunch of really good
potentials from it!

It really is a miracle that a chinese speaking missionary came to
Saijo and then only a week later we find this awesome place filled
with chinese that don't speak english or Japanese. It's amazing!

Then the other crazy thing that happened this week. On Saturday I was
on splits with Elder Wynn, my good old fellow 2012 Timpview classmate.
It was night after eikaiwa had ended, so we went to visit there
investigator from Iran named Kevin and bring him some orange juice.

We get to the bottom of his apartment and he is already there. "Hey
Elders! I was just waiting for my friends and we're going bowling
tonight. Want to come?" Me and Elder Wynn looked at each other,
realizing this would be a great way to introduce the gospel and get
relationships with his non member friends so Kevin could invite them
to learn more so we said "If we can be home by 9 then we're in"

So I ended my Saturday night bowling with 3 Iranians. I have a feeling
that is a worldwide missionary first. Welcome to Saijo Japan.

Elder Walton

We went to an awesome park for p-day,
met awesome musicians!

The sisters decorated my door for my birthday. How nice!

Bowling with Iranians. Awesome!

Faith Forging

Dear Family and Friends,

So on tuesday we got transfer calls.....and

I get to stay! Yes!

Sister Ito is gone to Fukuoka, and Elder Henderson got sent way down,
basically the farthest transfer possible to a little tiny island south
of Okinawa. And in the place of them Elder Wynn is training a bean,
and we are getting....

Four sisters!

That means Saijo now has 10 missionaries! That's more than any area in
our entire mission! That's a little more than our number of members.
How crazy! What if my home ward had the same number of missionaries as
members? A ward with 350 missionaries? That would be pretty

And the funny thing is just about all of us are from Utah. It's just a
bunch of crazy kids from Utah out in Hiroshima Japan preaching the
gospel of Jesus Christ. But our one missionary not from Utah is from
guess where?


Yes! She is a Chinese speaking missionary! A miracle for Saijo where a
third of our investigators and 2/3 of our recent converts are Chinese!
It 's really going to help God's work here!

Speaking of Chinese,
Before my mission I loved Chinese, I never got good, but I loved it
and actually hoped I would go to a Chinese speaking mission. Well I
got called to Japan and I was way excited for that too! But the crazy
thing is I that got here, and turns out I'm teaching all these Chinese
people! And we meet so many that don't speak English or Japanese so I
decided to start studying Chinese, and now I've been teaching Chinese
people on the street in Chinese (hopefully I can find some families
for Sister Tseng to teach) So as I imagined from the beginning, I am
here teaching in Chinese the gospel of Christ!

It's so much fun! We'll stop some chinese people and talk in Japanese,
then find out their chinese and switch to english and they'll
understand a decent amount. But then I pull out the chinese and
finally they all go "ahhh" and finally understand what we are trying
to get across. So 3 language contacts are a pretty normal thing up
here in Saijo.

As far as the work goes we've been pretty successful in everything
this week except actually our own investigators, we got a lesson for
the other elders. we got a lesson for the shimai. But we couldn't seem
to get any for ourselves. The finding was a little rough this week.
Weekly planning and numbers aren't bad, until you have to put zero's
on almost everything...

But we know we are giving it our all, and the Lord will provide in his
own timing as we are faithful and press on. We are just so grateful
for all the blessings he gives and the joy he puts into our hearts.

I'm so grateful to be here, and for all your love and support! And I'm
so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Love you all!

Elder Walton

-Me and Elder Rees put notes on the sisters door for the 3 new ones,
we had notes in 6 different languages from all the different members
of Saijo.
Displaying IMG_1964.JPG
-We did some intense cleaning on the ping pong table a member donated
from the chuch.
Displaying IMG_2377.JPG
-Missionary Coordination meeting: with the 10 missionary, mission
leader, the 2 ward missionaries and their families and the other
member that stayed to watch it included just about 7/8 of the people
that come to church anyways haha.
Displaying IMG_2382.JPG

Transfer Week....wait I thought that was last week?

Dear Beloved Family, Friends, Acquantances, Future Generations, and
Random People on the Internets,

How is it already the end of the transfer (6 week period) I feel like
Elder Rees came here just last Tuesday. This definitely the fastest 6
weeks of my life. And I'm terrified because I've heard it only gets
faster. Doctor who, help please.

This has been an awesome week! A little stagnant with some
investigators, seeing as some are way busy, some are in Fukuoka and
another 1/3 of them are moving out of our area :( literally everyone
we have been meeting recently are all moving, including 4 of our
investigators. But that's okay, we're going to make sure they can get
transferred well to other areas and continue coming to Jesus. :)

Actually one strong point me and Elder Rees have is when we meet
people who don't live here we have been really dilligent at trying to
get numbers and contact info so we can refer them to other places even
if they live in a different country. We got like 3 referrals to send
to osaka, tokyo and even taiwan this week. Pretty crazy.

The good old recent convert Sho is doing awesome though! He is finally
paying tithing, (it took a bit before we had someone who could teach
him how you do it in Japan) and now he is being prepared to receive
the melchizedek (shoot I can't spell english) priesthood at the end of
May and then Saijo can become a branch! It's so crazy that it is able
to go from almost nothing to branch probably just after I leave! I'm
so grateful to get to be a part of it!

We have so many chinese people here I have been spending some time
learning chinese now so that when we meet them on the street and they
don't speak japanese or english (or even when they do) I can testify
to them in their own language and tongue about Christ. I love it! I
have always felt an affinity for chinese, and even thought I would
serve chinese speaking, well I didn't, I got called to Japan....but
then I ended up teaching a bunch of Chinese people. Who knows maybe
I'll come home with 2 new languages? (but one of them will be pretty

Also recently were housing a met a guy named Michael who is from the
Czech republic and has been living here for 25 years. He was a hindu
monk for 5 years and has studied just about every religion except
islam and the Book of Mormon, he and his family might come to church
this sunday! He is a pretty cool guy!

Since I came 6 months ago Saijo has always been the lambs, Sister Ito
and Sister Williams, Elder Henderson, me and Elder Wynn ( who came a
little late) and then Elder Rees too. It has changed so little, but
this transfer at least one of the sisters and maybe and elder too (I
hope not me!) will be leaving. Because there are so few members here
all the missionaries are so close, we are like one little family. To
be honest we are probably one of the closest missionary districts in
any mission field because of us all being in a tiny group in one area
with few members. We see each others at least 3 or 4 times a week.
Teach together when we pass investigators and eat delicious
okonomiyaki together. It's going to be sad when some of them go. But
I'm sure whoever else who comes will be great too. =)

Lately I've been learning and trying to really just give up my life
for this work
and always focus on how I can help others. Every night I look at my
prayer board full of missionaries, members, investigators and family
and friends' names and just ask "What can I do to help them? How can I give
and love more?" And I've been feeling more and more joy because of it!
I really am the happiest I've ever been! =D Serving others really is
where true happiness comes from! I'm excited to enjoy that happiness
the rest of my life as I seek to serve others and bring them joy.
Isn't the gospel of Jesus Christ great? I'm so thankful for this
message and the joy and peace it brings.

I pray for you all and love you! Keep holding on to this source of greatest joy!

Elder Walton

Me Elder Rees and Sho and our adventures.
Displaying IMG_1869.JPG
Displaying IMG_1930.JPG
Displaying IMG_1930.JPG
Displaying IMG_1930.JPG
Displaying IMG_1868.JPG
Displaying IMG_1871.JPG
Displaying IMG_1876.JPG
Displaying IMG_1902.JPG
Me Elder Rees and Sho with our matching sock ties.

My name in arabic
Displaying IMG_1943.JPG